The continuing education of Arthur Goldwag

Arthur Goldwag is still a liar, and still an unskilled one. In his May 15 edition of easily refutable nonsense, The SPLC advocate began with the following:

“The last issue of the SPLC’s Intelligence Report presented a scathing portrait of “a hard-line fringe” of the Men’s Rights Movement (MRM): “women haters whose fury goes well beyond criticism of the family court system, domestic violence laws, and false rape accusations,” whose rage is “directed at all women, not only perceived feminists.”

 

In those opening 57 words, Goldwag sells a number of falsehoods, a few of which are worth examination.

“…the SPLC’s Intelligence Report presented a scathing portrait of …”

Wrong, the SPLC presented a sloppily assembled misrepresentation of conservative organizations, including the Concerned Women of America, the Libertarian-leaning John Birch Society and Glen Beck, as well as second amendment activists. The SPLC’s hastily constructed list of disjointed enemies also included a pick-up artist calling himself Roosh V, an organization called Stop Abusive and Violent Environments, whose mandate is to aims to improve the effectiveness of domestic violence policy, as well as some elements of the men’s rights movement, including this site.

“…a hard-line fringe” of the Men’s Rights Movement (MRM)”

This intentional mischaracterization is intended to discredit this site and it’s contributors as outliers. Far from being a fringe, AVfM is the largest and highest-trafficked men’s rights site on the web. AVfM also hosts the largest online collection of original, men’s-rights-specific literature anywhere in the world. The contributing authors come from across the planet and represent numerous political, sexual, economic and ethnic backgrounds and points of view. To call this site a “fringe” of the growing human rights movement, the “so called men’s rights movement,” is a gross falsehood.

“…women haters…”

Oh dear, that old canard trotted out again?

This is based on the tired and sloppy argument (since Goldwag presents no other) that opposition to feminism and hatred of women are the same thing. Feminism, the ideology, and women, the group of people identifiable by their sex, of course are not the same, and not just because one is a biological demographic while the other is an ideological construct, the proponents of which are of any sex.

It is not even true to claim that feminism is a movement which serves or benefits women -although admittedly, most feminist advocates believe they are benefitting women. Treating an entire sexual demographic as if they are permanent children, powerless, locked into victimhood as a matter of identity – does not help them. It makes them easily manipulated stooges of whoever pretends to flatter and coddle them. Also, by pandering to the pseudo-celebrity privilege of victim-identity politics, it makes them easy to shake down for donations. Doesn’t it, Artie ol’ boy?

Interestingly, even as Goldwag clings to the notion that feminism and women are indistinguishable, he also manages to locate and cite a MRM blog[2] correctly pointing out that “Women are not feminism.” Goldwag, in his efforts to cherry pick and misrepresent quotes, managed to miss that this painfully simple idea has been a regular part of the rhetoric at AVfM[3][4] since its inception.

From the pages of AVfM…

“…implication that feminism and women are interchangeable synonyms is no more insulting to real feminists than [the] facile implication that criticism or disagreement with the ideology has no possible source except hatred towards women”

“This is why in my own writing, my answer to accusations of misogyny (the hatred of women) is to explain, as to a child, that a group of people (women) and an ideology (feminism) are not actually the same thing, and that opposition to an ideology, particularly one based on hatred or violence – does not translate to hatred of women.”

The logical refutation of the false claim that opposition to feminism equates to a hatred of women is documented at least as far back as 2007 in a document called the Anti-Male Shaming Tactics Catalog[5] This fallacy is listed in the catalog as “code black” or the Charge of Misogyny.

In spite of repetition on Youtube, on AVfM, on this guy’s blog[2], that is, repetition of the fact that feminism and women are two different things, one being an ideology, and the other being a group of people, Goldwag still can’t help himself. He categorizes his own article, in which he admits this most obvious fact, under the category “anti-woman.” Really.

The last falsehood (at least from the opening paragraph) is this choice nugget :

“…whose rage is directed at all women…”.

There are two lies here, but because I’ve already addressed the endlessly recycled lie that opposition to feminism is equal to hatred of women (feminism and women can also be distinguished by the spelling of the two words. Feminism starts with an F, for example)… rage will be addressed.

This is another circumstantial ad hominem. If individuals are angry, they usually have a reason. Sometimes the reason is difficult to discern, and must be guessed at. Someone mistreated and abused through childhood may carry anger through the rest of his or her life. To some, the source of that anger may be hard to ascertain. On the other hand, much of the black civil rights movement of the 1960’s was fuelled by anger, and the source of that anger was plainly obvious. Black civil rights activists were vocal, and repeatedly explained in excruciating detail that being denied civil rights and treated as subhuman was a major source of black anger. Similarly, the current men’s rights movement is also driven by a degree of anger.

Human beings dismissed as violent and hateful when they complain of the denial of basic human rights are quite naturally also angry at being lied to and being lied about. Arthur Goldwag, who writes for an organization which once protected human rights is now participating in the campaign of lies designed to silence human beings who are struggling for those same rights.

By characterizing legitimate anger as “rage,” Goldwag is attempting to kill two birds with one lie. First, he is attempting to pathologize the anger; to reframe it as dangerous and unhealthy. Second, he is attempting to lead people away from the issues driving the anger and deny human rights advocates an audience willing to listen objectively. Rage, used to describe human emotion, implies fault in the humans experiencing it, and elicits scorn for those expressing it. The word: rage, chosen by Goldwag, also implies violence, doesn’t it? He can’t quite get away with saying so directly, as the MRM is an avowedly non-violent human rights movement, but building a case for fear of human-rights bloggers works even by implication.

All of this from Goldwag’s first paragraph. 57 words conveying almost as many lies, however, a complete parsing of all of Goldwag’s dishonesty is not the point of this discussion.

Surprisingly, he does mention a radical feminist blog discussed at AVfM several times in the past, on which the radical feminist bloggers advocated male targeting eugenics, infanticide, boy-targeted child abuse and other hate fuelled violence and murder.

Following the SPLC’s first sloppy attempt to vilify the MRM, the fastest growing human rights movement in Western culture, the eugenics and murder enthusiasts at Radfem Hub began fund-raising on behalf of the SPLC, and Artie Goldwag himself confirmed the support of the SPLC for these prospective eugenicists and killers, by tweeting a link directly to their page featuring SPLC fund raising.

the SPLC supports murder advocates for donations
Who is a hate movement Arthur? Who? Have you looked in the mirror? Goldwag claims that AVfM’s founder and publisher, Paul Elam – and his colleagues (that would include me) read or represented Pam Oshaughnessy’s eugenics advocacy as a well-developed plan, calling us “obtuse” for the misrepresentation. However, he doesn’t cite any actual claim of a “well developed plan” on our part, probably because we never made any such claim. Obtuse is the word he used. Okay Arthur, if you say so.

Goldwag, although he mentions the eugenics enthusiasm and other hate driven violent rhetoric at Radfem Hub, somehow forgot to mention that after AVfM exposed that group of radical feminists open call for mass murder, and after they began fund raising for the SPLC, he endorsed their site and it’s content in a tweet to the SPLC fund raising page at radical hub. Oops. Obtuse, Arthur? Who? Us? Gentlemen and ladies, this is comedy that writes itself.

According to Cathy Brennan, the owner of radical hub site featuring calls for child murder, extermination, and eugenics – and where male human beings are discussed as an agricultural product, she said:

“I don’t hate men, […] I have a father, I have a brother, I have a son. The war that Paul Elam is waging is in his head”

 

Such is what she offers for proof she doesn’t hate men. She is related to some. Will this work as a defense against the charge of misogyny as well? I have a mother, therefore I can’t hate women?

This statement is also somewhat at odds with the private registration of the domain-name “paulelam.com” by Brennan, and the redirection of that domain name to the Radfem Hub hate and violence advocacy blog. Apparently Mr. Elam’s head covers a lot of territory, including at least some of the terrain in the head of Brennan herself.

Oh, and in addition to having a father, a brother and a son, Brennan also has a blog which calls for their genetic modification. “If we can do it with corn, men should be easy.”

Brennan also claimed that the infamous manifesto by Valerie Solanas calling for male extermination was a piece of Swiftian satire, not to be taken seriously, and that interpretations of that “satire” as a serious call for hate and killing reflected failed comprehension by “so called men’s rights advocates”.

This claim ignores the fact that the author of the Society for Cutting Up Men Manifesto followed her authorship of that famously incendiary hate and violence by shooting the artist Andy Warhol, among others. It also ignores the continued references by modern feminists to the document which began with: ”The male is an incomplete female, a walking abortion, aborted at the gene stage. To be male is to be deficient, emotionally limited; maleness is a deficiency disease.”

SCUM Manifesto derived conferences and projects continue to be held by funded and organized feminists worldwide, including a 2011 conference in Australia[6], and a Swedish theatre company adapting Solanas’s hate manifesto for Swedish school children using a realistically staged public execution of a man to promote their event, followed by the call, “Do your part.”

Brennan claims to view the manifesto calling for male extermination as nothing more than satire. This claim contradicted by promotion of Australia’s feminist “SCUM” conference on Cathy Brennan’s blog, Radical Hub. Oopsie, caught you lying again, Cathy. Arthur Goldwag somehow missed this connection, too. Blame those darned misogyny coloured goggles.

Of course, all the rhetorical mummery from Goldwag and his fellow rent-seekers at the SPLC reflect the fact that while the Southern Poverty Law Center once served an important task, helping to greatly diminish the power of the KKK in the United States in the 1960’s and 70’s, that former human rights organization did their job so well they’re now grasping for continued relevance. Ironically, because those human rights struggles were fought from the political left 40 years ago, that still left-leaning law firm, with their two palatial high rise office complexes and gigantic budget cannot see that the fastest growing human rights movement in America today is the one they’re fighting against. And why? Because men’s activist don’t express themselves in a way in which bigots would approve. The SPLC has become the monster they used to slay.

Arthur Goldwag can’t see this, because he is an ideologue, and because he is a liar.

[1] http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2012/05/15/intelligence-report-article-provokes-outrage-among-mens-rights-activists/
[2] http://www.ofmb.org/2012/03/word-on-radfems-splc-and-ugly-hypocrisy.html
[3] http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/clementine-ford-calling-fellow-feminists-stupid/
[4] http://www.avoiceformen.com/feminism/feminist-lies-feminism/fear-and-loathing/
[5] http://www.dumpyourwifenow.com/2007/03/01/the-anti-male-shaming-tactics-catalog/]
[6] http://allecto.wordpress.com/2011/07/24/scum-conference-draft-program/

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